195 episodes

Small group leaders, pastors, and more discussing strategies for growth and community in church groups. The Small Group Network is an international ministry that equips churches to engage in deeper discipleship and community.

SG² Steve Gladen on Small Groups Steve Gladen

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 46 Ratings

Small group leaders, pastors, and more discussing strategies for growth and community in church groups. The Small Group Network is an international ministry that equips churches to engage in deeper discipleship and community.

    3 Leadership Pipelines You Must Have In Your Groups Ministry (part 1)

    3 Leadership Pipelines You Must Have In Your Groups Ministry (part 1)

    Steve Gladen, Global Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church, pulls from his 20+ years of small group ministry experience to encourage and equip listeners to lead healthier, growing and more effective small group ministries.
    In this episode, Steve talks about the 3 Leadership Pipelines You Must Have In Your small group ministry: the group leader pathway, the community leader pathway and the group member pathway.
    Host Development PathwayNick and Dave Photo


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    • 27 min
    Church Wide Campaign: How to Grow your Small Group Ministry by 300%

    Church Wide Campaign: How to Grow your Small Group Ministry by 300%

    Steve Gladen, Global Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church, pulls from his 20+ years of small group ministry experience to encourage and equip listeners to lead healthier, growing and more effective small group ministries.
    In this episode, Steve talks about how you can grow your small group ministry by 300%! You can do this by using Saddleback Church's secret sauce of ministry - the church-wide-campaign. Steve and Derek will break down the following:

    1 Know the compelling question.2 Align Children’s, Student and Adult ministries. 3 Stick to the principles and apply your own methodologies. 4 Language matters - host strategy5 Employ various avenues of learning.
    6 Once a year is enough7 Provide a clear start and end date.8 Expect high intensity for staff, volunteers, and members 9 Remember and celebrate.10 Plan for after the Campaign 11 Give people an “out” after the Campaign.12 Budget to remove financial obstacles 


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    • 37 min
    Should Small Groups Meet Over Summer?

    Should Small Groups Meet Over Summer?

    Steve Gladen, Global Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church, pulls from his 20+ years of small group ministry experience to encourage and equip listeners to lead more effective small group ministry.
    In this episode, Steve answers the question "should small groups meet over the summer?" He then proceeds to share some of the pros and cons of summer small groups as well as share some of the things he typically heres about why small groups do not meet over the summer. 


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    • 32 min
    Small Groups: 10 Principles of Exponential Thinking

    Small Groups: 10 Principles of Exponential Thinking

    Steve Gladen, Global Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church, pulls from his 20+ years of small group ministry experience to encourage and equip listeners to lead more effective small group ministry. 

    In this episode, you will hear an audio recording of Rick Warren talking to the Saddleback church staff about his 10 Principles of Exponential Thinking. Steve Gladen will then breakdown how you can apply these 10 principles to your small group ministry. The following is what will specifically be covered in this show:

    First – exponential growth is possible.
    Second – exponential growth is the New Testament model.
    Third – exponential growth brings honor to God.Fourth – exponential growth captures the attention of the unbelieving world.Fifth – exponential growth is caused by God.Sixth – exponential growth is the result of God’s blessing on your life.Seventh – exponential growth makes God smile…in fact, He rewards it.Eighth – the only barrier to exponential growth is our own unbelief.Ninth – the secret of exponential growth is believing God for big things.Finally, Tenth – exponential growth begins with exponential thinking.
    Choosing Growth over ControlThe Book of Acts is one of the best resources we have to understand the growth of the church during its formative years. A brief read through of this section of Scripture can quickly show us that the church preferred growth over control as they would preach to thousands and then baptize them shortly afterward. As witnessed throughout Acts, explosive growth was a good problem to have, for it established a foundation upon which its teachings could stand upon. Similarly, we too must be okay with the mess that new small groups may create. Instead of focusing primarily on if a new small group leader is maintaining sound theological discourse within their very first meeting, we are challenged to celebrate the fact that Jesus is being discussed at all and that members are coming together to form community. But doesn’t bad theology and misinformed teaching create more complication for the kingdom of God? Yes, however just as we see in the Bible, doctrine and teaching was provided shortly after Acts through the writings of the Epistles. Just as how Paul conducted “on-the-job” training via letters to the churches he was mentoring, we too can choose growth first and then later practice the approach of surgically addressing any theological concerns through a consistent roll-out of bite-size trainings.
    A Culture of GroupsWhile we all wish our congregants would be fully devoted followers of Christ who are consistently serving, attending a small group, and in-the-know of the church calendar at all times, the reality is that many of our churchgoers only step foot onto church grounds for Sunday service (or online for virtual Sunday service). In other words, Sunday morning may in fact be the only shot we have to help promote small groups and/or explain the benefits of small groups. If our churches only mention small groups twice a year at the times when there are coordinated group launches, then this means that the typical church attendee only will hear about small groups 4% of the year (even less if they miss one or both of those two services!). If the church’s leadership agrees that small groups are one of the most important ministries within the community, then we become challenged to display the fact that small groups are indeed a part of our church’s DNA. To help execute this, some strategies can include: (1) head pastor buy-in (where the senior pastor becomes one of the most vocal proponents of small group ministry and even attends a group themselves); (2) Church calendar events that strategically funnel individuals into newly created groups (and/or church events that don’t interfere with the weekdays on which small groups typically meet); or (3) Consistent small group promotion from the pulpit (Not every message needs to be a small group sermon, but every

    • 54 min
    The Reading Lenz with Nick Lenzi has moved!

    The Reading Lenz with Nick Lenzi has moved!

    Search for The Group Takeaways With Nick Lenzi in your favorite podcast app or go to https://share.transistor.fm/s/480a2b74.

    • 39 sec
    Leadership Journey With Bill Search: Featuring John Ortberg - Now On A New Channel

    Leadership Journey With Bill Search: Featuring John Ortberg - Now On A New Channel

    This week, Bill interviews John Ortberg, the author and pastor on his leadership and legacy. Go to https://share.transistor.fm/s/b7e1a4de or search for "Leadership Journey with Bill Search in your favorite podcast app.

    • 43 sec

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

Brian from Shepherd ,

Thank you for sharing your heart Steve!

I’ve been listening to this podcast for a while now. I really enjoy hearing different voices share different angles and perspectives regarding small groups and leadership. I just listened to the latest episode of “Inside Saddleback” with Steve Gladen. He talked about “3 Areas for Your Groups to Shine in Today’s Culture.”

I just wanted to reach out and say what an amazing job you did Steve! I was listening to it on my walk this morning. I’m really not sure which part stood out the most to me but I was feeling it the whole way through.

Thank you for sharing your heart and experiences with us. And for saying some tough love stuff that needed to be said. Well done bro!!

Anyway. I hope this is encourages you to hear and know that you have encouraged me and many many others out there in small groups land. God bless Steve! Hope to see you again very soon

dolson123456789 ,

Fun & insightful podcast!

I love this podcast! It’s real, raw & informative regarding all things small group ministry! Host Carolyn Taketa is a small group master-sage & has an incredible ability to draw gold nuggets of wisdom out of her guests. The producer - Jason, seems like a real nice guy & I always like it when he appears at the end.

dpolla8 ,

Great info!

Thank you for providing this podcast! We are a newer church and are starting up small groups for the first time. This podcast has been such a great resource! Thank you!!!

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